Antimicrobial efficacy of alcohol-based hand gels with a 30-s application


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Abstract

Aims:The objective of this study was to assess the antimicrobial efficacy of alcohol-based hand gels according to European Norm 1500 (EN 1500).Methods and Results:We assessed the antimicrobial efficacy of 12 alcohol-based hand gels produced in Brazil, containing 70% w/w or v/v ethyl alcohol as the active ingredient, according to EN 1500, with a 30-s application. In addition, 70% w/w ethyl alcohol and three alcohol-based hand rubs commonly used in Europe and effective according to EN 1500 were also tested. Eight of 12 (67%) alcohol-based hand gels produced in Brazil failed by EN 1500. In contrast, 70% w/w ethyl alcohol and European alcohol-based hand rubs were approved by EN 1500.Conclusions:In this study, the majority of Brazilian alcohol-based hand gels showed limited efficacy on hand hygiene within 30 s.Significance and Impact of the Study:The findings of this study may be used as an important argument to motivate Brazilian manufacturers to improve the antimicrobial efficacy of alcohol-based hand gels, because it is prudent to suppose that alcohol-based hand gels can be recommended for use in healthcare settings only if they show antimicrobial activity at least similar to that of alcohol-based liquid preparations, including the traditional 70% w/w ethyl alcohol.

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